GRANTS IN ACTION:
Q: How has the SEF grant made a difference?
The SEF grant has enabled us to purchase a class set of Ozobots to share with the STEAM Collaborative of Scituate. With the new STEM/Tech program in the elementary schools, they have become a valuable tool. They can be used to teach math, science, ELA and other topics. The Ozobots have online lessons which you can choose to teach with paper or on a device using Ozoblockly. Lessons integrate math and science to move the robot, and language arts to draw, describe projects, and develop presentations.
We have used them to analyze problems and design algorithms to program robot actions, use logic, and develop reasoning using Blockly, a visual drag-and-drop coding tool. We focus on the Engineering aspects by line following, sensors, calibrating the robot, navigating mazes, and exploring engineering principles.
We have integrated some literature by reading stories to the younger students and then they mapped out the sequence of events by drawing an illustrated map for the Ozobot to follow.
Q: What kind of feedback have you received from program participants?
We have used the Ozobots from grades K-5 at all of the elementary schools in Scituate. The response is tremendous. The students are engaged and excited to learn with these robots. It is amazing to see students as young as kindergarten getting some coding experience with the Ozobots. Many students have asked where they can get one. I am sure it will be on quite a few holiday lists. When we asked the students their favorite part of STEM/Tech class this term, it was hands down the “Ozobot” experience.
Q: What have you been able to do with help from SEF grant?
We have been able to enhance a new elementary STEM/Tech program with the Ozobots as part of the program. We are trying to get the students excited about STEM and things like robotics and engineering. The SEF made this possible and it is exciting to see the elementary level students getting to experience this type of learning.